Inspired by my husbands stories of growing up on the seaside on the south coast of England, this oil on canvas is entitled “The Catch is In!”.
I like to paint in a manner that could fall into the genre of Visionary Art. I often dance around that term because there have been so many great visionary paintings I a tremble to even attempt to put myself in their spheres.
Many visionary artists paint after being influenced by Psychedelics and some can be found on this blog post: http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/visionary/
But historically there have been many painters that have been visionary without the use of chemicals, where artists have painted an unseen, a world not viewed with the mundane eye.
My own art comes from dreams, a deep respect and contact with nature and a strong yoga and meditation practice. With that caveat, here are some of my “Visionary” paintings.
The Long Journey
No, I’m Not Done Yet
The Far Shore
The World Tree
Owl Storm Eyes
In Your Dreams
Ride the Wild Seahorse
The Mating Game
The Power of Nature
Meeting the Genius
And of course more to come
Who doesn’t want to live forever? I thought it was time, before my delightful hubby and I get too wrinkled to attempt a portrait of ourselves. I love Lucian Freud’s work and think he was incredibly skilled but I didn’t want to wait until we are like this self-portrait he did that can be seen in Vienna. I of course then had to watch a video about him and his art, and found he was a great fan of Cremnitz White, which I have on order. This is a lead based white paint, so don’t eat in your studio while using it. The video I watched on Lucian Freud can be found on YouTube here: A Painted Life I love the emotion he conveys although he obviously was a haunted and tortured individual who didn’t play well with others.
Back to my painting. My husband and I went out to our favorite French restaurant and dressed up for an anniversary one of the staff took a fabulous photo of us. I decided to use that as my reference photo, along with peeking over my wine glass at dinner, an assessing, did dear hubby have a few little crows feet, how did the cleft of his chin look in profile?
A book I referred to was
Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form by Eliot Goldfinger.
This year, I used a marble based gesso to cover my boards. The white is so white it hurts your eyes. If you are just tuning in you might want to read my post on Mischtechnik.
Next I spent a fair bit of time looking and reading about the anatomy of the face and neck. And then spent a couple of weeks on an initial sketch.
And here is the initial glaze, I used iron oxide red. It was still wet in this photo.
Meanwhile, as I wait for this to dry, I’m reading another book and learning even more about portrait painting. It has an excellent section on blending colors for the skin. I’m only half-way through, but I’m sure this will be a better painting because of it.
Portrait Painting Atelier: Old Master Techniques and Contemporary Applications
by Suzanne Brooker
The next step, after it was fully dried, was to work on the highlights creating more tones, with the egg tempera. I freely thinned the egg tempera with a little cold pressed linseed oil, so I could have different shades of white. Some I used undiluted and some thinned.
And of course wait. I usually keep a second painting going and work on that while I’m waiting. This year its a semi-abstract in acrylic paint that has lots of free movement and invention and dries fast. The antithesis of this.
Another glaze, this time I used transparent yellow ochre. In the past I used a bright primary transparent yellow, but I like the warmer tones of the earth reds and yellows.
Ah, finally we are starting to see some of those magic mid-tones arise out of nowhere. I had on a top that was covered in black sparkles and I want to show that, but I’m not sure whether I have a handle on it. I have a few points of light on it, but I’m not sure if they work yet.
Here is the white tempera on the highlights after this glaze.
Now the blue glaze.
Technically I should do another layer of the white highlights, but I like where I am. I am going to start glazing local colors as soon as this dries. Oops…I forgot to take photos of a couple of glazes. Don’t worry you didn’t miss much, just the first coat on the walls, shirt and shawl.
I had a wonderful time showing some of my work at Art Around Town in Chappaqua, New York. My paintings will be up at Noelle Marie Photography at 140 King Street until the end of June. There are more than 30 other artists of the Northern Westchester Artists’ Guild showing at merchants about the town.. Do stop by and see our work.
Have you ever finished a painting, loved it and couldn’t wait to photograph it to share on social media? But after you photographed it, it had shadows, glare and all sorts of blips and blobs highlighted that made it look awful and nothing like what it looked in life? Recently I finished a painting that was textured and had a number of layers of glazes that gave me that problem.
I want my photographs of my art to look like the painting, not better, not worse. If I were to sell a painting online or submit it to a show and the painting looked substantially different than the photograph, it might cause disappointment or even (horrors) the thought I was trying to put something over on them or hide a flaw.
There are a couple of quick fixes for photographing a textured painting that has a glaze on it or a varnish. The easiest is to take the painting outside and photograph it in natural light. Try to light your painting at an angle and visually adjust for glare.
OK, so you tried taking outside and playing with that angle and this angle and it still didn’t work. Then do the following:
Use two lights at a 45 degree angle to the painting and try some filters.
I paint using artificial light. Specifically, I use 2- 2200 K lights on stands with diffusing umbrellas, in studio with the walls painted white. Which gives me a nice soft daylight. The benefit of this, is as the sun rises and gets stronger or as it sets in the afternoon, my light doesn’t change, so I don’t change my pigments in intensity because they look different under different lights.
A good link talking about lighting, color and temperature, can be found here.
The next thing is to orient your light at 45 degree angles to the painting. But there is still a lot of light bouncing around. You then need to add polarizing filters on your light, or camera or both as done in this article on documenting art.
Take a moment to look at your setup as if you were the camera. Is there light bouncing off an area causing a highly visible glare? Play with your lights. I use a liner polarizing filter and manually adjust the focus on my camera. If you plan to use auto focus use a circular polarizing filter. I am not, at this point, using additional filters on my lights. A circular polarizing filter may bend the edges of your painting a bit.
This is the first time I’ve used a filter. The one on the left is filtered and on the right is unfiltered. I felt I lost a little of the line definition on the filtered. But I lost the glare and the tones show up better. But once again, a photograph never quite looks the same as the painting viewed by the eye. So I leave it up to you, to filter or not. My goal is to make the photograph look as much like the original painting as I can. I also manually focused as a linear polarizing filter works better that way.
You may be one of those people who buys a fancy camera with all sorts of bells and whistles fully intending to learn how to use each and every one, but after a brief time with it you find leaving it on auto and auto-focus suits you just fine. And you go to buy a filter for it and search for “polarizing filter for my brand of camera”. And you can’t find a single one, only packages with prices you can see might be a bit of a rip-off. Look on your lens, take off the lens cap and look at the area directly around your lens. Somewhere there will say what mm the lens is. My Cannon 60D is a 67 mm lens. So when I went and searched for 67 mm polarizing filter I found a much larger array of choices. I know, “duh”, why include this? I figure if I wasted time doing it, someone else might and I could save them some time.
Another alternative, is to scan your art. If it is just for your own records and the work is small you can probably use your in-home or in-office scanner. If it is a larger work, you plan to make and sell prints, you may wish to take it to a facility that has large format scanners and experience in scanning work of your type.